SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
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Battle of Gonzales-Index

 

Smither to General Council Nov 23rd 1835. To the Honble the General Council of Texas.  Your petitioner, L. Smither, would respectfully represent, to your consideration, that in a few days after the troops of Ugartachea, marched to Gonzales, an order came to Ugartachea saying that the alcalde of that place, refused to give up the cannon,-Your petitioner believing at that moment, that he could be of more service to Texas, than he ever could in any other capacity, immediately remonstrated against the proceedings of Ugartachea, and stated to him that he was using military, under the pretense of civil authority; in commanding the Ayuntimiento of Gonzales, to obey the order of the Political Chief of Bexar, for he well knew that the Ayuntimiento of Gonzales, belonged to the department of the Brazos, He, Ugartachea, immediately says to me; if you will immediately go to Gonzales, and procure me an answer to my demand, from the Political Chief of the Brazos, I will suspend the movement of my troops until that can be obtained, if you will pledge yourself to do so; That I consented to do, and in a half hour, I started for the camp of Castinada, at Gonzales, with a sergeant and Two soldiers, with an order to Castinada, to withdraw his troops. I was compelled to leave Five or Six Hundred dollars, in money, and One Thousand dollars in Notes, together with about Three Hundred dollars worth of horses and mules and arrived in the Camp of Castinada, in the shortest time that distance could be rode. At that moment, one of his spies came riding up, and informed that there were Three Americans, in Sight-Castinado says to me in the name of God; will you go and ask those Americans, what they want; that I did not come here to fight them, and tried this morning to get a communication, with their commander, and they would not suffer me to speak to them-I immediately started from the camp to the American spies, which I saw, on reaching them I found it was Captain Caldwell, and Two others; I declared my mission from Castinada, and gave Capt Caldwell, all the particulars, why I had come-He directed me to go back to the camp, and there remain all night, and say to Castinada, that he would not be molested that night, and to come to Gonzales, with me next morning and he should have any communication he wished, with the authority of Gonzales he wished, and to be treated with all the respect of a gentlemen; I executed that mission, and the next morning at day light the Americans were firing on the camp, and knew I was sent on the forsaid mission. Castinada, called me and said; what did you say to me last night, I answered that I had stated, nothing but what, I was directed, and was not the author of it, he placed me under a guard of four men, and took possession, of my mule, money and all the clothing but what I had on, and directed me to remain there, until the fog blew off. in half an hour, I was ordered to where his horse was found, He then ordered me immediately to go to the camp of the Americans, and say to the commander that he did not intend to fight him, but he wished the commander to meet him with a flag of truce which order I executed, and Col Moore, ordered me immediately into the rear of the Americans, and to consider myself a prisoner. I stated to Col Moore that Castinada had my mule, money, and clothes, and I wished to go up with the flag and demand them, and Moore said I could go ten paces in front and see but I could not go up. I remained at Gonzales, until the army marched for Bexar, and the second day was ordered by Genl. Austin, to return, to Gonzales and employ a man to repair, the flat; at that place, and thire a man to attend to the flat, but could not get any one, to repair the flat, and was compelled to do it, with my own labour, and attend to it day and night, until I was robbed of all my clothing, the second time by some of Capt Bradley, Subletts, and English company, when they passed that place, which compelled me to come to this place for clothing, which could not be obtained there - I suppose the work in the flat would amount to four days for a carpenter - and I attended to the boat, day and night for about Thirty Five days, which is well Known to this Honble Body, and I have not received one cent for service, or board Should this Council think proper, to take this into consideration it will meet the Thanks of your petitioner. if not I still Remain Your Obedient Servant
Launcelot Smither


Report of the Battle of Gonzales from Secretary of War Thomas J. Rusk Dec 1835About the 15th or 20th of September 1835 an order was sent by the Political Chief at San Antonio De Bexar accompanied with on from Coln Ugartichea the Comdt of that post with a file of cavalry demanding a 6 lb Brass piece of artillery, & the order being quite premptory & directed to Andrew Ponton who was Alcalda at that time for the municipality of Gonzales Detained the Seargeant & his men under pretence that we could not let the cannon be taken away without the consent of their Political Chief (Wiley Marton Esqr) who keeps his office at St Felipe De Austin, This detention was for 3 or 4 days, during which time one of the Soldiers have been dispached by his officer to Bexar with a letter from the Alcalda to Coln-Ugartechea & the Political Chief to the abve effect; This movement was made by the Citizens who had held a meeting for the purpose of adopting means of defence untill the people from the Colorado & Elsewher[e could?] rendezvous at Gonzales for which the Stragem of detaining them (Soldiers) was used, runners having been sent toBass Trop & Moons on the Colorado & also to S Philip D Austin;---At the Close of the third day from the time the Mexican Soldier had been despached the Citizens of that village (Gonzales) concluded that there was about to be a desent of solderly upon that place & 4 men with one or two Guns marched across the river and made prisoners of four soldiers and taking from them their arms Horses & Military Equipage, one of which was sent after their hores mounted the Horse with---out saddle or Bridle or anything to eat and thereby made his escape, and ther appearing to show a disposition not to surrender untill they say their Determined resolution they concluded positively that there was about 3 or 4 hundred soldiers at Bexar and that Genl Coss was on his way to that place with a reenforcement: In three days after these Soldiers had been made prisoners about 9 oclk in the morning the few Citizins who remained in Town (The rest were a moving their Families to tile swamp & other safe places) were mustering & we heard but with no astonishment from their Spies who had been dispached the same day the soldier had made his Escape for the purpose of speying around the Town of bexar & finding out their number these spies were four in number and took different roads so that if the enemy should be on the march they should not miss them & not let them cross the Gudaloope River at the Caporta crossing about 25 miles above Gonzales that from 180 to 200 cavalry were within 4 miles of the village and a[bout] 18 men all told, to defend it; But they the True Sons of Mars built a brestwork at the crossing of the river and bid defience to the host in the Course of 1/2 an hour their Van Guard arrived at the river and expressed their desire to cross but the Villageers were too smart for them they had secreted the ferry boat in a Bayou above 50 yards above on the contrary side of the river from them and told the Officer in Command that he Could not Cross, but if be had any dispaches that one of his men Could Swim over unmolested with them which was immediately; The dispaches were immediately read by one of the Gentlemen who had quite conversent with the Spanish Language and perceived the contents to be persuasion Yet premtory and that if the Cannon was not delivered over peacebly to take it by force---After having understood the Tenor of the officers orders (Lieut. Coln Castinado); The officer of the Van Guard was immediately told that the Alcalda was out of town and would be in on the next day in the evening at which time the few Citiznes ther[e] expected to have reenforcements from the Colorado and fortunately gulled them & caused them to take their encampment on the mount in the Center of Mrs DeWitts League when they & their movements could be viewed from the thicket on the opposite side of the river the mound being in the center of a beautiful Lead[?] praire and their to remain untill the citizens of Basstrop 60 in number reached there who were received with great warmth of feeling & National pride comon among the sons of the Heroes of 76. The next day we were reenforced & organized regularly by Electing a Chief Coln & Lieut Coln (Moore & Wallace) those last recruits made their number nearly equal to that of the enemy; the day after they made several Faints as though they intended crossing the river and make an attact on the Village & the day following the Brave Castinado took up the line of march for Williams place 7 miles from Gonzales and picked out the most secure place for his encampment he could find destroying anything fences &c and killing the hogs & cattle of Williams then to await the further orders of Coln Ugartichea during that daytheymounted the 6 lb piece on a pr of cart wheels and about 8 oclk crossed the river and encamped at Mrs. DeWitts House and about 12 or one oclock after having held a Council of War & having listened to a Patriotic address of the Revd Doct. Smith took up the line of march for the enemies camp expecting to surprise them but was disappointed in that by a little Dog that followed the little army which kept a continual barking at the Howling of the Wolfes which are quite numerous about that section of country thereby causing their Van guard to be observed and fired upon by their picket guard, (Enemies). They then moved into the edge of the timber and remained there until near sun up next morning. then took up the line of march and expecting the enemy to be charging on them opened up fire from their cannon which was not returned but found that it was only their Picket Guard that were [reviewing?] their lines which could not have been done to any advantage on account of the Fog which was so thick that the sun did not appear untill near 9 oclk. At about the time the sun appeared they began opning the Fence of Mr Williams farm for the purpose of preparing to give them another round when the exclamations; dont shoot! dont; shoot was heard in their rear which proved to be a doctor by the name of Smithers who had been a surgeon for the Mexican garrison at Bexar (an American) coming with a positive assertion that Coln Castinado would not fight that he was not told to fight but the little band could not believe that after having read his orders but he as Mexicans generally expected to keep them off untill he could receive a reenforcement which afterwards understood to be on the march at that time after having secreted the Men the Coln & Lieut Coln Moore & Wallace aggreable to a request of Coln Castinado met him half way and after a few moments conversation and not agreeing upon the particular point Coln Moore & Wallace said to him there is the cannon---(Pointing to it about 2 hundred yards) Come and Take it to which he said I will not surrender at discretion nor fight then Colns Moore & Wallace observed them [sic] that they would open a fire on them immediately which was done as soon as each party could reach their proper stations and the first round of [steel?] that was thrown at them the heads of the horses---and no doubt without great reluctance took up a flighty March for St Antonio De Bexar with the Hussas; of Americans vibrating in their cars, the same day they marched to Gonales and here remained untill the force was increased to about 350 men & Officers & having Elected Genl Austin as Comd in Chief & other necessary officers took up the line of march in 3 days for Bexar & marched without seeing a sign of a Mexican untill within 27 miles of this place ther [sic] Spies were obsrved by ours Capt Martin who commanded the Gonzales company was killed in the Alimo with the balance of the Heroes of that Municipality 35 or 40 in number
[Thomas J. Rusk] [Endorsed:] Genl Rusk's Statement-War


W.D. Dewees to Clara Cardello Dec 1835. Columbus, Colorado County, Texas, December 25, 1835. Dear Friend. You will undoubtedly feel somewhat surpised ot see this letter dated at Columbus; but, my dear friend, wonders will come,. For a long time I have lived in a remote part of Austin county, and quite a distance from any town, and I have for this reason, never dated letters at any other place than Colorado river. But as settlers are constantly cooming in and locating on the Colorado and Brazos rivers, a petition was made during the past summer to the Ayuntamiento to divide the county. This petition was granted. The county of Colorado lies on both sides of the Colorado river, in one of the riches and most fertile tracts of land in Texas. A town has been located and laid out on the west bank of the river for a county seat, and named Columbus. It is beautifully situated in the bend of the river, or rather nearly out of the bend. From the site of the town across to the other end of the bend, it is eight hundred yards, and around it by the river it is thirteen miles. The town lot itself is a beautiful grove of live oaks. It bluffs on to the river, which flows on in a clear and rapid course to the bay of Matagorda. The town is situated about seventy-five miles from the bay, just above the level portion of Texas, and hardly in the rolling portion. On the opposite bank of the river rises a dense forest of timber, which, in the summer season, will render the situation of our town very romantic. No building has as yet been commenced, on account of the unsettled state of the country. But if I live to see Texas thriving and prosperous again, and in a peaceful state, I shall also trust to see Columbus a flourishing town. The Colorado is a stream capable of being navigated as high up as this place, and as the country around is exceedingly rich and fertile, Columbus will no doubt some time be a place of considerable importance.

When I last wrote you, I told you that although all was then quet, we were daily expecting a rupture. We have since realized all that we then feared. The Mexican Government for a long time detained Austin in prison and continued to encroach upon our rights and liberties, until at last, in September of this year, an armed force arrived on the Guadalupe river, opposite Gonzales, to demand our arms. They first demanded of us a cannon which the Mexican Government had loaned us to protect the frontier settlements. The citizens of Gonzales replied to them that the Alcalde, Mr. Ezekiel Williams, was at that time from home, that they could not give up the cannon without his permission, but if they would remain where then were till his return, he would give them an answer. To this they agreed! A runner was immediately despatched to the Colorado with the news. A number of men instantly started from this settlement for Gonzales, at which place we arrived on the third day after the Mexican army arrived. We found quite a number of Texans had reached the place before us, and under the command of Cots. J. W. E. Wallace and John H. Moore, had commenced drilling and making preparations for battle. The people of Gonzales kept the Mexican army quiet for three days by telling them the Alcalde had arrived and decided not to give up the cannon, if they wished it they must fight for it. The Mexican officer made answer, that they would not leave without the cannon, and we had better give it up, for they intended to have it. During the following night all our army crossed the river, taking the cannon with us, and drew up as near as possible to the Mexicans, being secreted by the timber. Here we lay till morning! At daybreak on the morning of the second of October, we had our men arranged, and set out a flag for the purpose of holding a conversation with the Mexican officer. Cols. Wallace and Moore went out with an interpreter to converse with him; the interpreter informed him that we were in favor of the Constitution of 1824, that we should not give up the cannon, that if he would like he could join us and hold his command in the army, or if he did not wish to do that,he must return without the cannon, or take it by force of arms. The Mexican made answer, that he was himself in favor of the Constitution of 1824, but lie was sent there by command of the Central Government, and it would be as much as his life was worth to fight for the Constitution of 1824, and he should not return without the cannon. Upon this our officers bade him good morning, and returned immediately to the army. We were instantly ordered to fire upon the Mexicans! this we did, putting them to flight.

Muster and march to Bexar. We then re-crossed the river to Gonzales. At that place we remained five or six days, constantly receiving reinforcements from the country. While in Gonzales we were much cheered and gladdened by the return of our Senator, Stephen F. Austin, who had made his escape from prison. During our stay in Gonzales, there was a battle fought between the Mexicans and Texans at La Bahia, in which the Texans were victorious and took the town. Just before attacking the Fort at Goliad (La Bahia), as the Texans were marching down the San Antonio river, from the upper to the lower crossing of the same, about midnight, they unexpectedly came upon Benjamin R. Milam, who had lately been a prisoner in Mexico. Col. Milain readily joined the Texans, and was the formost to enter the enemy's quarters. This gentleman has for a number of years been a resident of Mexico, and of late has been confined as a prisoner in that country. He at last by some means succeeded in escaping from prison and got into Texas. He knew nothing of the revolution in Texas,until informed of it by the soldiers by whom he was discovered. Preparations were instantly made for the war, which we felt was already upon us. While we were busy in Gonzales preparing for more active exertions in the tented field, the Camanche Indians came down with a considerable force near the town and committed some depredations. Col. Burleson went out with a party of soldiers, attacked the Indians, took one of them prisoner and brought him into camp. After having received reinforcements, and listened to several speeches from Rev. Dr. Smith, Robert Williamson, and Cols. Wallace and Moore on the subject of war, we elected Stephen F. Austin, Colonel, and John H. Moore, Leiutenant Colonel, besides other officers, and took up our line of march for Bexar. We encamped on the Salado: the day after our arrival at that place, Gen. Burleson and Col. Wallace went up to the powder house with seventyfive men; they were there met by the Mexican cavalry with whom they had a slight skirmish; no lives were lost. A few days after this, a part of the Texas army commanded by Cols. Fannin and Bowie, marched over on the San Antonio river, below the town, to the mission Conception, where they were met by a large body of the Mexican force; the engagement was very severe; when the battle was over one hundred and four of the Mexicans lay stretched in death on the bloody field; on the part of the Texans but one, the brave and well beloved Richard Andrews, was killed. Andrews received a mortal wound from a grape shot in the early part of the action, which cut him nearly half in two. He instantly placed his hands over the wound, and, turning to his companion in arins, said, "I am a dead man, but don't let the boys know it; tell them to fight bravely." Having said this he laid himself down and immediately expired. The next day after the battle of the Conceptions, we marched up to the head waters of the San Antonio river, about two miles above the town, and there encamped. While we were encamped there our men had several skirmishes with the Mexicans though none of them proved serious. Our Commander, Col. Austin, now told us that business of importance compelled him to resign his commission and return to his colony. His resignation was accepted, though with sincere regret, and Col. Edward Burleson was elected in his place. Skirmishes were now frequent, and some of them very severe; among these was the grass fight; several of the Mexicans were killedand a few of the Texans; quite a number were wounded on both sides. A brisk cannonade was kept up both by Mexicans and Texans. At length Col. Burleson came to the conclusion that he would force his way into town. This he did in the night. We entered the town on the morning of the fifth of December and took possession of the Veramendi house, and the north part of the town in which the Veramendi house is situated. Our riflemen were now so situated that they could fire the Mexicans as they came up to their cannon; so they did us but little injury, and, at length we got possession of a part of their cannon. Soon after we came into the town, on the tenth day of the month, the Mexicans surrendered the town and army to the Texans. The Mexican army was permitted to retire from town and take away all their munitions of war, on condition that they would never fight against any of the Texan forces any more. It gives me pain to mention that the brave and noble hearted Col. Milam was killed at the taking of San Antonio, by receiving a musket ball in his head. A great many of the Mexicans were killed; The Texans sustained a loss of comparatively few in number. The army elected Barret Travis, Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, and after leaving him in possession of a part of the army, the rest dispersed to their homes. Col. Travis with Cols. Crockett and Bowie now fortified themselves in the Alamo for the purpose of keeping possession of the town. Our army owe many thanks to the brave inhabitants of San Antonio, who, although native Mexicans, still ranked themselves on the side of liberty, and fought bravely with the Texan forces. Were all the Mexiens such ardent lovers of liberty as the citizens of San Antonio, we should not now be left to fight our battles alone. A gloomy future lays spread out before us. We know not what success will attend our arms. We are but a mere handful of men to fight against a powerful nation. But we are determined that we will not submit to the will of a tyrant. Born and bred in a boasted land of freedom, where the bright sun of liberty ever sheds his benignant rays full upon us, we cannot, we will not bow beneath the scepter of a despot. We will be free or lose our lives in fighting for our freedom. Truly yours W.D. Dewees [to Clara Cardello]


Account by participant William T. Austin in 1844. In the month of September, 1835, intelligence was received that General Cos had arrived at Bexar with a reinforcement of troops, and that he was making preparations for a war of extermination against the people of Texas. The first military movement of the enemy was an attack upon the town of Gonzales on the Guadalupe River, preceded by a demand for a small brass cannon which had been in that town for upwards of four years, which demand was peremptorily refused by the alcalde, with the advice and approbation of the citizens of that town. Intelligence of these hostilities was despatched promptly by means of expresses to the different sections of the country. The minds of the people being already excited upon this subject, and a spirit of determination generally prevailing, throughout the country to meet the enemy and give him battle, the call for aid on the frontier was responded to with surprising promptness.

On the 1st day of October the enemy again appeared in sight of the town of Gonzales on the west side of the river, consisting of cavalry about two hundred strong. They came to a halt, and sent a despatch from the political chief and the commanding officer at Bexar, renewing the demand for the cannon, and also a request from the officer in the immediate command of this advance to have a personal interview with the officer commanding the Texan forces. The Texan forces, amounting to one hundred and fifty men, were not yet organized, and to organize at once was considered all-important; and with a view to have ample time to accomplish his object, Captain Albert Martin, a worthy citizen of Gonzales, at that time assumed the character of commander of the Texan forces, and received the despatches which had been forwarded by the enemy, addressed to the alcalde of Gonzales. He despatched a message to the enemy that the alcalde was absent from town, but would return in the evening. Whereupon the enemy retired and encamped at a position about half a mile from the ferry. During the day the Mexican commander would make an occasional hostile demonstration before the town; finding himself vigorously opposed, he finally took possession of a strong position some three hundred yards from the town, where he encamped for the night.

John H. Moore was elected colonel, and J. W. E. Wallace lieutenant-colonel of our forces for the present occasion; preparations were accordingly made to attack the enemy in his encampment at daylight on the following morning. Our forces crossed the river in the night, and about four o'clock in the morning were formed for battle, placing the cavalry, fifty strong, in advance of the cannon, with two open columns of infantry, with a company of flankers on the right and left, and a rearguard of infantry. The march was conducted with order and silence; upon reaching the point intended to be occupied, our advance-guard was fired upon by the enemy's picket-guard; one man was only slightly wounded. This alarmed the enemy, who instantly formed. The two columns of our infantry deployed into line, placing the cavalry on the extreme right and the cannon in the centre. A dense fog prevailed at the time, which made it extremely difficult to observe the movements of the enemy and push forward to advantage. The enemy was, however, discovered formed in order for battle at a new position near by on a commanding eminence. In consequence of the heavy fog our troops remained at their position until daylight; they then advanced in good order for battle into the open prairie to a point within three hundred and fifty yards of the Mexicans. We now commenced a brisk fire upon them from our cannon, which caused the enemy to break ground and retire to his old position, where he proposed a parley, which was assented to. At this time the fog had entirely disappeared, and both armies appeared fairly in view of each other, at a distance of about three hundred and fifty yards.

The commanding officers of each army advanced and met at a midway point between the two armies. The Mexican commander, Castonado, demanded of Colonel Moore the cause of our troops attacking him, to which Colonel Moore replied that he had made a demand of our cannon, and threatened, in case of refusal to give it up, that he would take it by force; that this cannon had been presented to the citizens of Gonzales for the defence of themselves and of the Constitution and laws of the country; that he, Castonado, was acting under the orders of the tyrant Santa Anna, who had broken down and trampled underfoot all the state and Federal Constitutions in Mexico, excepting that of Texas, and that we were determined to fight for our rights under the Constitution of 1824 until the last gasp. Castonado replied that he was himself a republican, and that two-thirds of the Mexican nation were such, and that he was still an officer of the Federal government, although that government had undergone considerable changes; that the majority of the states having decided upon that change, we, the people of Texas, were bound to submit to it; that he did not wish to fight the Anglo-Americans of Texas; that his orders from his commander were simply to demand the cannon, and if refused, to take up a position near Gonzales until further orders. Colonel Moore then demanded him to surrender with the troops under his command, or join our side, stating to him that he would be received with open arms, and that he might retain his rank, pay, and emoluments, or that he must fight instantly. Castonado answered that he would obey orders. The conference ending here, each officer retired to their respective armies. Colonel Moore immediately opened his cannon, and advanced upon the enemy in double-quick time and in good order for attack; the enemy instantly gave ground and took flight for San Antonio. It was supposed that considerable damage was done the enemy by the discharge of our cannon, but this was merely conjecture. No injury whatever was sustained on our side. Our plan of operations at that moment being entirely defensive, the enemy was not pursued. Therefore, after collecting the baggage, etc., which was left on the ground by the enemy, our troops were counter-marched to the town of Gonzales, where they were encamped.


Charles Mason's Description to Frank Johnson in Feb 1874.
GONZALES, Feby. 4, 1874.
Col. Frank W. Johnson, Austin, Texas.
My dear old companion in arms. Your letter of the 1st ult. was duly received but the severe illness of Mrs. Mason for the past two months is my excuse for not having replied to it sooner. The data I send you is strictly to be relied on, regarding the first movement of the people of Texas, that took place at Gonzales early in the fall of 1835, (consequent upon the concentration of an army of Mexicans under the command of Gen. Martin Perfecto de Cos, who at the time had his headquarters somewhere in the northern interior) as I referred to a journal or memorandum penned not long after, when everything except particular dates was fresh in my memory. Truth required the introduction of my name in several plans, which is the excuse for apparent egotism. I reflect with pride and pleasure at having been under your command during the ever memorable five days from the 5th to the 10th of December, 1835. There is no telling what would have been the consequence of a failure: with the last round of ammunition taken from the locker; the country open to the Sabine with sparse settlements; the enerny's success for a time at least, would seem to have been apparent. The black flag at the sand bag battery on the east side of the river the day before, and the white flag on the wall of the Alamo on the morning of the 10th were quite strange in contrast. The result was glorious. Can any one reflect without even now deciding what might have been the consequence had the advice of Tom Bell, of 'Caney' been taken, i. e., 'not to regard the capitulation,' so honorable to our arms, and so necessary in many respects to facilitate the cause for the constitution of 1824? With the hope that the enclosed may be of some service to you in your contemplated history of Texas, and whilst recurring to the past, I may be able to transmit to you further reminiscences of the glorious struggle that resulted in the birth of a nation, I am Dear Colonel, your friend and well wisher, &e, &c. CHARLES MASON. My high regards to Col. J.W.E. Wallace, of whom I often think.---M.

"In the latter part of September, 1835, a file of Mexican cavalry under command of a non-commissioned officer, arrived and encamped near the residence of Mrs. Sarah DeWitt [on the Sara Seeley tract across from inner Gonzales town], widow of Empresario Green DeWitt, with orders from the Political Chief of the Department of Bexar, and Colonel Ugartechea, the commanding officer at San Antonio, demanding of the Alcalde, Andrew Ponton, Esq. the highest civil officer of the municipality of Gonzales, a brass six-pounder field piece of artillery, which had been turned over to Colonel Green DeWitt for the protection of his colony. The people, at once assembled and promised the alealde their warm support should he decline to give up the gun. Whereupon he addressed a note to the political chief, at San Antonio, that he could not comply with the demand, unless ordered to do so by the political chief of the department of the Brazos, which note was dispatched to San Antonio by the sergeant, simultaneous with runners---Matthew Caldwell to Bastrop and to Col. J. H. Moore's neighborhood, lower down on the Colorado, calling on the people of those places to spread the alarm; and to send immediately as many armed men as practicable to the assistance of Gonzales & company was at once organized by electing Albert C. Martin, captain (graduate of Captain Partridge's Military school in Connecticut) and W. W. Arrington, Charles Mason, and Jesse McCoy, Lieutenants, with about one hundred non-commissioned officers and privates, from sixty down to fifteen years of age. About the third day circumstances induced the belief that reinforcements would be sent to the Mexicans, so it was determined to endeavor to capture the squad of cavalry before assistance could reach them, and to prevent their sending information to San Antonio. Consequently, Lieutenants Arrington, Mason and McCoy, with John Martin (known better as "Bitnose" Martin) crossed the river and proceeded to their camp, near Mrs. DeWitt's residence, and found them with their arms stacked around a tree. On a demand to surrender, they endeavoured to seize their arms, but Martin leveled his Kentucky rifle, and would, had he not been prevented, have killed the foremost. After taking possession of the arms, they were assured that no harm was intended; yet, it was with some apparent distrust they surrendered. One being sent after their horses, on reaching them mounted, as supposed the fleetest, and took the road to San Antonio at half speed, the others were taken to town and treated as prisoners of war. Knowing the soldier who had been sent for the horses would cause reinforcements to be sent, Lieutenant Jesse McCoy, Graves Fulcher, and Littleton Tomlinson, were sent as spies towards San Antonio to keep a look out and give timely information and prevent surprise. There was no disappointment. In about four days, the spies returned and reported that one hundred and eighty or two hundred cavalry (commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Arcineago) were on their march to Gonzales. At this time there were but eighteen men in Gonzales. A temporary breastwork was erected just below the ferry, and the boat secreted in a bayou above. In a short time their van appeared, hailed, and desired to be set across the river., They were informed that they could not cross. If they had dispatches, one of the men could swim over unmounted, which was done. The dispatch, on being read by one of the company, was found to contain an order on the alcalde for the cannon, and, instructions to the officer who bore it, if the cannon was not delivered voluntarily to take it by force. The answer to this was 'come and take it.' The contents of this reply being communicated to the officer, Lieutenant Castaneda, he denied having orders to fight. He was then informed that the alealde was out of town, and would not be in before morning, to cause further delay. The same or following day, Col. J. H. Moore, of Fayette, Edward Burleson, and Capt. R. M. Coleman, and J. W. E. Wallace, of Columbus, arrived from the Colorado with sixty or eighty men, which increased the force to about one hundred and eighty men and boys. During the delay in getting assistance from the Colorado and Brazos, our spies, Graves and Fulcher and an Indian (Shawnee or Cherokee) kept Capt. Martin informed of every movement of the Mexicans. The Indian swimming the river at night and recrossing (and as he disappeared on the arrival of assistance, no doubt but he was employed by the Mexicans.) At this time, the Mexicans at night took position on the mound, and during the day near the timber on the river.

The number of men now required a reorganization. An election being held, J. H. Moore was chosen Colonel, J.W.E. Wallace, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Edward Burleson, Major. After several feints as though they intended to cross the river, ascertaining our number; for the purpose of greater safety, or to await reinforcements, the Mexican commander removed his encampment seven miles up the river Guadalupe, to the Williams place. Colonels Moore, Wallace, and the officers, were very active in making preparations to attack them at that point. The field piece in dispute was hastily mounted on a pair of cart wheels procured for the occasion by Valentine Bennett, afterwards quartermaster. Slugs were forged for the gun, and lances for a company by, who labored incessantly, without the expectation of pay. Every preparation that could be made being ready at eight o'clock P. M., orders were given to cross the river, and rendezvous at the residence of Mrs. DeWitt, who with her family had removed to Gonzales at the request of the returning spies. At twelve or one o'clock the whole force were mustered to listen to a patriotic address, and a fervent appeal to the God of battles, in its behalf and for its success, by the Rev. Doctor Smith, as chaplain. The little army, full of hope and high in spirit, took up the line of march, through a dense fog, for the enemy's camp; calculating to surprise him, but was prevented by the continued barking of a dog that had followed, causing the van. guard to be fired upon by the enemy's picket-guard.

Orders were then given to take position in the edge of the timbered bottom and remain until daylight. After sunrise the fog was still so thick that a person could not be distinguished one hundred yards. About the time orders were given to move, the sound of a horse's feet were heard approaching at fast speed, and a voice calling out 'Don't shoot, don't shoot!!' which turned out to be a Doctor Smithers, who said he had been pressed into service to act as surgeon to the command at San Antonio, with orders to say that Lieutenant Castaneda had sent him to inform Colonel Moore that he had no orders to fight. A council was held, and it was decided that the Mexicans should surrender at discretion or fight; and Smithers dispatched to communicate the fact to his commander. The Mexican again returned Smithers to inform Colonel Moore that he desired an interview, which was agreed to. The fog having cleared away, the Mexican cavalry were seen posted in a triangle on the brow of a hill, about four hundred yards distant, with their bright arms glittering in the sun. Colonel Wallace, taking with him Lieutenant Mason, proceeded to the half way ground, where, after some moments, he discovered Lieutenant Castaneda, who was informed by Colonel Wallace that as he had refused to surrender, we would fire upon him as soon as both parties reached their respective commands; after which, a wave of the Colonel's hand caused a match to be applied, and the Mexican officer and his command received the first shot fired in the Texas revolution for the constitution of 1824. A second round found them about-faced, making a precipitate retreat towards San Antonio. It is but just to say that among those who were engaged actively in the foregoing drama were Governor E. M. Pease, Vice President Edw. Burleson, Colonel Amasa Turner, afterwards of the regular army, Colonel J. C. Neill, who were conspicuous on the field of San Jacinto on the 20th and 21st April, 1836, and in the councils of the Republic and state of Texas, and many who at this late day cannot be remembered.


Battle of Gonzales-Index
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
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